investment

Russian neuroscience marketing startup raises seed funding from TRi5 Ventures, establishes in Singapore

SINGAPORE – NeuroTrend Pte Ltd, globally recognised neuroscience technology company, which originated from Russia, and will expand its global presence through Singapore, has raised an undisclosed seed round from TRi5 Ventures. NeuroTrend looks to partner with creative agencies and media companies to launch the first-of-its-kind next generation neuromarketing consumer insights lab to provide a deeper level of consumer insights for advertisers.

According to a recent study released by MAGNA, IPG Media brands' research arm, global advertising spends in 2016 was USD $493b, and USD $44.5b was spent on market research and the Asia-Pacific region is forecast to see a growth rate of 5.4 percent. Advertising agencies and broadcast media companies are now turning to data analytics to further deepen their engagement and effectiveness of advertisements.

Natalia Galkina, CEO, NeuroTrend Pte Ltd, says, “Over the recent past, neuro scientific technology has played a key role in helping companies optimise their marketing dollars. It is today considered a serious research area that is scientifically sound, genuinely interesting field in cognitive science, where the response to products and consumer decision-making is understood on the level of body and mind. We are confident that creative agencies and media companies in this region will benefit immensely from this new-age technology.”

Focus group respondents are analyzed via an Electroencephalography (EEG) headset, an eye tracker, a polygraph instrument and a facial reader camera. These non-invasive hardware are integrated to collect signals from the brain, eye movements, physiological measurements and facial expressions which are then sent to a server.

NeuroTrend will then analyse the data by its patented neuroscience complex software and algorithms enhanced by artificial intelligence, focusing on the parameters of interest, emotions, attention and memory. A report will then be generated which will advise the media company on how the advertisement, which could be print or video, can be optimised for maximum impact.

Christopher Quek, Managing Partner, TRi5 Ventures, says, “NeuroTrend is our first foray in investing in deep scientific technologies. We are impressed by the level of IP development that Natalia and her team of 50 scientists and researchers have done. NeuroTrend’s decision to be based out of Singapore is aligned to our investment goals of commercializing IPs via Singapore.”

About NeuroTrend Pte Ltd

Neurotrend Pte Ltd is the Singapore-based entity of JSC NeuroTrend (Russia), which holds the IP rights of all neuroscientific technologies for the company outside of the CIS countries.

Since its founding in 2011, JSC NeuroTrend (Russia), has provided over 1000 consumer insight reports to a large number of companies including several international brands. JSC NeuroTrend has over 50 specialists in all areas of neuromarketing including well known professors in neuroscience and senior PhDs etc as part of the team.

NeuroTrend Pte Ltd intends to expand rapidly overseas with a target of over 200 labs in all the major cities within the next four years via partnerships with advertising agencies and media companies.

NeuroTrend will also establish a research and development lab in Singapore to develop its neuroscience capabilities, as well as an analytics lab of engineers and scientists to support its Russian facility in generating consumer reports for clients.

 

About TRi5 Ventures

TRi5 Ventures is a Singapore-based early-stage Venture Capitalist that actively supports and grow startups in commercializing IPs and expanding globally via Singapore.

Making life easier for insurance agents with Surer         

The general insurance industry in Singapore handled over S$4b in value of insurance premiums in 2016, with an estimated 10,000 intermediaries involved. But Derren Teo was surprised to discover that the sizeable industry has not caught up with the technological age.

He shares, “For such an important industry, intermediaries were still relying on excel spreadsheets to track insurance policies. Furthermore, they communicated via whatsapp with haphazard tracking of discussions, and stored data in their hard disks which were at risk of loss with no backup.”

Derren is no stranger to the insurance industry and faced similar pain points. He worked over nine years of insurance experience in sales, business development, claims and underwriting working in AIA, AIG, MSIG and QBE. He saw how the keystone of the industry, its intermediaries or more commonly known as agents or financial advisors, were thoroughly under-served and overworked.

In 2015, Derren spoke to peers who agreed a management system was needed to improve productivity. However, there has been no solution that truly solves the issues for the intermediaries.

After two years of awaiting for such a solution to appear, Teo decided the solution was unlikely to come unless he stepped up to build it.

New beginnings

Gordon Tay was Derren's long-time buddy from junior college, where both shared a common dream to make a difference in the world during their younger years.

Coincidentally, when Derren left his job to build on the idea, Gordon and his brother, Renfred had both just quit their jobs to find new purposes in their lives as well. Gordon was a seasoned B2B marketing professional while Renfred was in finance.

Derren took the opportunity to articulate his passion to serve the intermediaries of the insurance industry. Together with his two newfound co-founders, the beginnings of Surer was born.

What Surer is all about

“Surer is a market-first, web-based business, customer management and resource sharing system that harnesses the power of technology to enhance productivity of some 10,000 agents and financial advisors in the general insurance industry,” explains Gordon, who spearheads the marketing efforts.

“We see that Surer will be the holistic insurance tech solution that agents and financial advisors will come to rely on for improved efficiency and productivity.

“The system will help digitise manual tracking work, simplify and systemize rudimentary processes and facilitate networking and resource sharing. This will allow agents and financial advisors to be able to pitch better and close faster. Most importantly, for them to be 'surer' about the way they run their business.”

As the CEO, Derren takes a step further. “I see Surer to be such a trusted centralised system that it can act as the 'guardian' of insurance industry, facilitating a triple-win situation where greater transparency will be provided to policy holders, better commissions can be brokered for intermediaries and the industry can be empowered with greater insights. Surer will be the insurance for insurance.”

Surer is the first investee by TRi5 Ventures under the SG Founder co-investment grant scheme by SPRING Singapore.